Committee can’t prove MPs leaked national security info
The investigation into the leak of national security information from the highly-confidential committee for the intelligence and security services did not deliver any conclusive results. The investigation team told the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, that there are no grounds to prosecute any Parliamentarian because they could not find a clear suspect, The Telegraaf reports. In the committee for the intelligence and security services (CIVD) the government and intelligence services periodically brief faction leaders in the Tweede Kamer about ongoing operations. State secrets may be discussed and the committee is therefore highly-confidential. Early in 2014 details about what was discussed in the committee surfaced in the media. It involved Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk giving the U.S. intelligence service NSA the telephone information on 1.8 million people. Opposition parties in the Kamer filed a motion of no-confidence against the Minister, claiming that the Kamer was not properly informed. But, according to the media reports, the government shared the information in full with the CIVD in full. As leader of the CIVD, VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra reported the leak to the Public Prosecutor. The prosecutor investigated, but could not do much as, according to Article 119 of the constitution, he can not make a decision on prosecuting a Member of Parliament, that decision is reserved for the government or the Tweede Kamer itself. In November it was revealed that "one or more" parliamentarians were considered suspects in the Prosecutor's investigation and the investigation was handed over to the Tweede Kamer. The investigation team appointed by the Kamer, lead by ChristenUnie MP Carola Schouten, on Wednesday wrote to the Tweede Kamer that they "regret" to say that they failed to uncover the truth. They called the investigation a "mission impossible". They had little time to investigate and legally did not have enough capabilities to uncover the truth. Political commentator Frits Wester calls the outcome of the investigation disappointing. "I do not get the impression that the committee did everything they could to get to the bottom of this", he said to RTL Nieuws. "It damages the image of politicians. It now remains unclear who leaked the information. The image that politicians in the Hague sweep these things under rug, lingers."